edu-it

education, technology, and everything else

Bandwidth Hogs

Posted by Miranda on December 8, 2007

The topic is bandwidth this week at my school. The technology department had been working on a presentation about bandwidth for the last couple of weeks when what we might call a teachable moment occurred. The network has been getting slower and slower this year with the amount of data our students have been pulling down over our 3 Mbps. Faculty have also been expressing concern over how much time students have been spending on Facebook, YouTube etc during study hours. Tuesday evening the Director of Technology made a Packetshaper class for Facebook, MySpace and YouTube and cut bandwidth down to it.

Well we nearly had a riot. Students insist that they need Facebook to communicate with far flung family and friends that they need Facebook to collaborate on homework.
There was a considerable amount of hate mail.

It was what you might call a perfect storm type of thing. We did our presentation yesterday at the all-school meeting and it went over alright. No one threw anything. The one thing I wanted to get across is that bandwidth is shared, that using large amounts of it means that everyone else gets less and I think the students got that. I know some of the faculty did. One of them said to me
“I used to go and watch YouTube like it was eating a french fry. Now I know that to be a good citizen of this community I need to think about that a little more”

Eureka!

I have seen reports of a study in WebProNews that says that 10% of all bandwidth world-wide is used by YouTube. 10%! Of the bandwidth on the planet!

Does anybody besides me find this scary?

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